Virtual Weather Technology Helps Agronomic Decisions

Kurt Lawton

At this week’s InfoAg 2009 precision farming conference, National Corn Grower Association yield champion David Hula of Renwood Farms in eastern Virginia gave a presentation on technology and productivity. As a seed producer, he likes to keep his customers informed on proper planting dates. One technology he uses to do this is Skybit.com. Hula says this virtual weather station accurately …

Farmer Succeeds With Variable Rate Precision Tools

Kurt Lawton

On variable soils, Indiana farmer Eric Wappel has found precision agriculture success by varying fertilizer and seeding rates, according to a recent story in Indiana Prairie Farmer magazine. “We use variable rate application to spread phosphorus, potassium and ag lime,” he notes. “What we put where depends upon soil sample results. Soil sampling comes first. We use hybrids, but also …

Southern Growers Find Precision Farming Pays

Kurt Lawton

Using GPS guidance and precise metering systems to cut P and K rates 40 to 50% while maintaining good yields is catching on in the south, according to a recent piece in Delta Farm Press magazine. Glenn and Rodney Mast who farm near Columbus, Miss., say precision farming technology is helping them achieve such efficiencies. “When you put the fertilizer into …

Your Comments On GM Ethanol Corn Requested

Kurt Lawton

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking comments until July 6 on the proposed petition to deregulate genetically modified (GM) corn that improves ethanol production. The petition for deregulation, submitted by Syngenta Seeds Inc., is in accordance with APHIS’ regulations concerning the introduction of genetically-engineered organisms and products and is available for the public’s review and …

New Precision Weather Growing Degree Days Tool

Kurt Lawton

Track your current and past Growing Degree Days (GDD) to help with crop scouting for pests using a new tool developed through the joint efforts of Monsanto and The Weather Channel. Since the January launch of The Weather Channel’s ‘Agriculture News & Forecast’ web page, growers who used the site requested the addition of a GDD calculator. To access the …

Precision Crop Technology Proves Sustainability

Kurt Lawton

While anti-agriculture naysayers continue to blast away at GM crops as the end of the world, it’s our duty to offer sound science to the discussion. To this end, a recent study by the British-based PG Economics offers some statistics on the value of biotech crops…as discussed in a recent Nebraska Corn Kernels blog post. Biotech crops help reduce greenhouse …

Precision Farming Data Will Pay

Kurt Lawton

The early pioneers of precision agriculture technology were often frustrated–not unlike the initial stages of any technology. The data gathered could produce impressive yield maps, but the knowledge base to glean better management decisions from them was lacking. Today, those pioneering growers have a treasure trove of data that can possibly be manipulated into zones–leading to improved management decisions. Corn …

New GreenSeeker Precision Products To Save Fertilizer

Kurt Lawton

GreenSeeker, the optical-sensing system from N-Tech that applies the right amount of Nitrogen based on plant readings from on-the-go sensors, offers several new products. The GreenSeeker RT200-4 Variable Rate Application and Mapping System uses four sensors across an applicator rig that is 60 ft. wide or smaller. Suggested list price is $18,500. The GreenSeeker RT150-3 Mapping System produces high-quality real-time …

Variable-Rate Fertilizer Gains Speed and Precision

Kurt Lawton

The cost of fertilizer has more growers looking for increased efficiency. And growers I talk to who use soil sampling, fertility maps and the variable-rate technology of precision farming are very pleased with the results. One tool that growers are excited about is the new high-speed anhydrous toolbar that John Deere introduced last summer. The 2510 Series of nutrient applicators …

Precision Farming Success Starts With The Seed

Kurt Lawton

You can have the best precision farming technology that exists, but without the right seed matched to the right field and to your farming practices, you won’t realize optimum yield. Selecting seed genetics is the most important task growers face every fall and winter, because as you know it has a tremendous impact on profitability. And that decision has become …